Ulster County Launches 24/7 Hotline for Anti-Semitic Incidents

A few weeks ago, the New Paltz Police investigated a Swastika graffiti incident in Hasbrouck Park.

On Aug. 16, the Jewish Federation of Ulster County (UCJF) launched a hotline to report anti-Semitic inicidents. 

Victims and witnesses of anti Semitic acts can now report all incidents to the Ulster County Federation by calling 845-859-9858 or filling out a form found on the UCJF’s website, ucjf.org/antisemitism-incident/. 

“Victims of and witnesses to anti-Semitic acts can report the incident by filling out this form. Your identity will not be divulged if you wish to remain anonymous. Please include as much detail as possible. If you wish to speak with someone, please call the Ulster County Anti-Semitism Hotline at 845-859-9858,” reads the form.

Spectrum News reported on the matter saying, that the UCJF had been planning on launching an anti-Semitism hotline for people in the coming months, but due to recent events they fast tracked the project and launched it right away.

“Threatening ‘manifestos’ were sent to a local synagogue and a business, and swastika graffiti was found at Hasbrouck Park in New Paltz,” said the new Director of the UCJF David Drimer.

“If you’re really unsure about whether you should call law enforcement — maybe it’s a housing discrimination kind of thing — call us,” Drimer said. “We’ll send you in the right direction and we’ll help you as much as you want.” 

“We hope to be able to help kids learn that this is just not cool,” said UCJF social media manager Desirée O’Clair.

Calls made to the hotline will be answered around the clock by UCJF staff members and then referred to Duty Officers at the SCN Duty Desk, which is staffed 24 hours a day. All reports received will be verified and sent to the appropriate authorities including law enforcement agencies when necessary. 

“Callers’ identities will not be divulged to third parties if they wish to remain anonymous. UJFC stresses that the first response to all violent or threatening anti-Semitic incidents is to immediately call local law enforcement,” reads the UCJF website.

“We have long planned developing some mechanism to appropriately respond to anti-Semitic incidents in our area. A few weeks ago, the New Paltz Police investigated a Swastika graffiti incident in Hasbrouck Park, and promptly reported it to our Federation office, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and a local Rabbi. Subsequently, virulently anti-Semitic and threatening multipage manifestos were hand-delivered to a synagogue and a private business in our area. Receiving three incident reports in the space of four weeks hastened our decision to launch the Hotline now,” Mr. Gold, the Federation’s president, explained.

“Instances of anti-Semitic harassment online, specifically on social media platforms, are epidemic. We plan to vigorously respond to any confirmed reports of this type of activity that we receive, since Jewish youth are especially susceptible to exposure to this kind of hateful messaging,” he added.

The Jewish Federation of Ulster County is a community-building organization that enriches Jewish life locally, nationally, in Israel, and around the world by helping those in need and fostering Jewish values for the greater good.

They are a non-religious, secular resource for everyone in the community and a member of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), partnering with them in support of their programs.

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About Zoe Woolrich 57 Articles
Zoe Woolrich (she/her) is the Editor-in-Chief of The Oracle. Over the past five semesters she has served as Copy Editor, News Editor and Managing Editor. She is fourth-year media management major from New York City. You can contact her at woolricz1@newpaltz.edu.